Still working on Dungeon Delvers and thinking about the classes, old school thoughts, and how I want to do things. My previous post on warriors and wizards has lead to some interesting discussions on Google Buzz (I wish I could get them to cross post to my comments here on the blog, but alas Google and WordPress seem to not be friends).
So today I got to thinking as I dropped my daughter off at gymnastics about the cleric. When I think of the main four classes (warrior, rogue, mage, and cleric) I see each as having a distinct purpose. Now this does not sit well with my ‘I prefer a skill system’ mind, but if I was asked to define the classes I would do so by what purpose they serve in the game:
- Warrior: kill stuff, protect the weaker (as in combat) members of the party
- Rogue: disarm/remove traps, sometimes do that killing sneak attack on a big baddie
- mage: area effect spells that can help the party survive when confronted with overwhelming odds
- cleric: heal shit, turn undead
I have always had issue with the cleric class because to me their spell casting ability seems contrived and ‘off’. They supposedly are granted spell ability because they serve a deity and this is how he rewards them. Say for example, the party comes up to far too many goblins to defeat, the mage is tapped out because he cast his three spells (see previous discussion) and is now cowering in the corner. The deity, sitting up on high sees this. “Oh shit, I need to help out my follower!” So he grants some spells to help out.
I wonder if the deity having a miracle happen might be a better, or perhaps more interesting, way of doing things. If you think about real ‘fighting priests’ that the class is supposedly based upon (go wiki The Crusades) these were simply religiously devoted warriors, dedicated as much to their God as they were to killing things. Did they have spells, or was the thought something more like “I pray, follow in His steps and he ensures me victory in battle.” I am guessing the latter is more likely. Maybe a better choice would be to do away with the cleric class and just have the subset class of Warrior Priest. Maybe he can lay on hands to help ‘define a RPG purpose for him’ and the GM can GM fiat some miracles that the deity granted based upon the character’s devotion and offering he makes.
Now, I can see your fingers twitching a reply already, let me stop that thought. I will agree, this might break all the sacred foundations of D&D and OSR thoughts. Heck, simply might not be as fun for players (I know one player who would adamantly argue this thought with me, and might even punch me, I think he was a dwarven cleric in a previous life).
I think what I am trying to say is that I do not see a point in having a cleric, why not just a devoted ________ that can also heal occasionally and maybe a special talent or feat that allows anyone turn some undead? Isn’t that all we are asking of our clerics anyway?
God, I hate classes…….